|The bookstore at the Ontario Teen Bookfest. Do you see MIDNIGHT THIEF?|
Note: I'm still giving signed bookplates to people who preorder. See details here.
While I've always theoretically understood the importance of good cover art, but I didn't really appreciate it until the months before Midnight Thief's release.
Disney-Hyperion really hit it out of the park with this one. As soon as the cover went up on goodreads, people started telling me they became interested in the book because of the cover. And when Midnight Thief went on sale for the first time at Ontario Teen Book Fest (yes, we released 20 copies early for the festival!) I saw people crossing the room to pick up the book because the art caught their eye. We sold out all 20 copies around lunchtime, and given that I was a complete unknown who didn't even technically have a book out yet, it can only be because of the cover art and description.
Today I'm thrilled to have my cover designer Tanya Ross-Hughes over to talk a little bit about the design process. And stick around after the interview because I'm giving away a signed finished copy of Midnight Thief!
When trying to decide what a book cover should look like, it seems like there are so many endless possibilities. What was the process like for deciding on Midnight Thief’s cover concept?
The process started with the editor, Rotem Moscovich, and myself discussing some possible directions. It needed to convey fantasy and intrigue. We wanted to include a castle, and possibly a mountain lion.
There were 3 comp ideas for this cover:
1. A bas-relief carving depicting a mountain lion from an exterior castle wall. This had a moonlight cast to it and a shadowy figure.
2. A mountain lion door knocker. For this one, I imagined a "midnight thief" walking past a grand castle door with the moonlight shining bright. I took this concept further by adding real eyes to the cat, as though it were watching, or transforming.
|Inspiration for the Door Knocker|
3. A far away view of a thief climbing up an exterior castle wall, dark and moonlit.
Comps 2 and 3 were both well received at the Disney-Hyperion cover meeting, but ultimately the door knocker got the most votes.
|Comp 2, which got the most votes|
Once you had the concept, did you go through many iterations of the actual design? What was that process like?
After the comp was approved I needed to pull together the final art. This cover went very smoothly in that the only element that changed from the initial comp was the mountain lion head and title font.
|Oh hai demon cat!|
|Demon cat door knocker|
I hired an artist who made the mountain lion head out of clay. We then photographed it and I pulled it all together combining the final head with stock images in Photoshop.
And here is the final cover, and the cover description:
Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.
But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.
Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.
When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.
And, as promised, I'm giving away a signed finished copy of Midnight Thief. To enter, just use the rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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They just revealed the cover for The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, and it's AMAZING. But the cover for Midnight Thief is pretty cool, too. Definitely something I'd pick up in the bookstore if I didn't already know about it.ReplyDelete
I really like the cover to Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch :) Thanks for the giveaway!ReplyDelete
"The Wrong Side of Right" by Jenn Marie Thorne!ReplyDelete
I love hearing about how book covers come to be! It's an awesome process. I currently really like the cover for Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre. It's simple but striking.ReplyDelete
Just read The Burning Sky and the cover art was awesome!ReplyDelete
Book covers are so important - without a good one, most people don't even get to the first page. In fact, they're like the door to the novel. And if the cover has a really cool mountain lion door knocker, more people will want to see what's behind it.ReplyDelete
And thanks for this backstage look - had no idea that lion was sculpted.
I love the cover for Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam. If the reviews for it weren't so unanimously bad I'd read it for the cover alone.ReplyDelete
I am really loving this cover, but the cover for STITCHING SNOW by R.C. Lewis is also gorgeous. Disney has some amazing covers! And well..HEIR OF FIRE and RUIN AND RISING are super awesome as well <3ReplyDelete
Woo, this looks amazing. Are you doing an international giveaway? I do hope so. I didn't know they went to such lengths when creating a book cover (making a clay model?!), so thanks for the insight!ReplyDelete
Kaja @ Of Dragons and Hearts (http://ofdragonsandhearts.com)
Oops, I only saw the question after I commented. I like The Unwept by Tracy and Laura Hickman and Oversight by Charlie Fletcher. Oh, V.E.Schwab's A Darker Shade Of Magic is also cool.Delete
The last book I remember buying because of the cover was The Binding Stone by Lisa Gail Green. Can't wait to read Midnight Thief, the cover looks amazing!ReplyDelete
I just finished reading the Selection by Kiera Cass the other day, and the cover is gorgeous.ReplyDelete
(This is Darith L)ReplyDelete
Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson! I love the color green used! And the font is awesome too! :D
Aside from Midnight Thief, which I love more and more every time I see it, I'd have to pick Ruin and Rising, I just got my copy of it and photos on the internet do not do it justice.ReplyDelete
The Broken Heart Diet, you guys need to check out the cover it's STUNNING!ReplyDelete
The cover for the second Elusion book is beautiful.ReplyDelete
I absolutely adore the cover of Even in Paradise by Chelsea Philpot.ReplyDelete
I love learning about the process of book publication especially for a new series and hope this is just the begin inning of the behind the scenes info to be released! Maybe this is an obvious one but I truly love the artwork throughout all the Harry Potter books! I love the idea of having the color schemes for the later books and really enjoy the cover art found throughout! Can't wait to read Midnight Thief, the reviews are great and sounds awesome :)ReplyDelete
I JUST finished Ruin and Rising and it was amazing. But before that The Winner's Curse and Deathsworn have been my fave fantasies so far this year :)ReplyDelete
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Ooh, thanks for the behind the scenes look at your cover! This was so interesting to read! I love knowing what goes into cover designs.ReplyDelete
I really love the covers for Erin Bowman's TAKEN books. The third was just revealed and they look so amazing together. Plus I love the use of colour there.
The One by Kiera Cass. I just read it and could NOT stop gazing upon the cover adoringly. I know, slightly creepy, but it was SOOOO pretty!ReplyDelete
Don't You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn. Great cover!ReplyDelete
I think the fact that a lot of YA books feature a person on the cover (usually with half their face cut off), the decision to make the cover something completely different, while still having a face (even the face of a cat!), makes it grab people's attention amongst other YA books. I know it would have grabbed mine =)ReplyDelete
Love this cover! My favorite cover right now is Ruin and Rising by Leigh BardugoReplyDelete
Love this cover! I can't wait to read this book--it sounds so good!ReplyDelete
This was a really interesting post. I enjoyed reading it!ReplyDelete
I adore the covers in the Shatter Me series.
I love Kristen Simmons new book cover for GLASS ARROW!! The cover reveal was today, and it's amazing! I can't wait to read that book!ReplyDelete
Thanks for this awesome giveaway!!
Rafflecopter name is: Vannah B
One of the covers of the books I've seen this year is Ruin and Rising. As a graphic artist, I know how hard it is to make a book cover like that.ReplyDelete
Can I ask what font is used for the title? thanks!ReplyDelete
Jess, I actually don't know. Sorry I can't be more helpful!Delete